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FREDERICK WILLIAM POMEROY (1856-1924)
FREDERICK WILLIAM POMEROY (1856-1924)
FREDERICK WILLIAM POMEROY (1856-1924)
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FREDERICK WILLIAM POMEROY (1856-1924)
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Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a fil… Read more THE NEW SCULPTURE Of particular interest is the striking collection of statuettes by The New Sculpture movement. This late-nineteenth century group of sculptors moved away from the style of frozen neoclassicism to adopt a new dynamism that focused on physical realism, mythological exotic subject matter and surface detail. The art critic Edmund Gosse (1849-1928) retrospectively coined the term 'New Sculpture' in 1876 when he referred to the movement as sculpture's re-awakening through its truth to nature… The New Sculpture statuettes in the collection speak of one of the most fertile periods in British sculpture's history... The revival of statuettes partly resulted from revisions to the bronze-founding industry in and around London from the 1860s, and renewed concern for how the public were engaging with sculpture as its declining decorative role in architecture [had] divested it of what was seen to be its primary function. The establishment of new publishing houses such as Arthur Collie's in 1889, and art bronze foundries such as J. W. Singer's, provided the facilities to produce higher quality art bronzes than had been previously possible. Statuette’s accordingly began to command major new business, and their display disseminated the New Sculpture’s output to a broader audience than had previously been possible. A slightly edited extract from an article about the collection, see M. Hamnett, ‘The Albert Dawson Collection: a Handley-Read Legacy’, The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850 - the Present, 2016, vol. 40, pp. 96-113 (N.B. The Peter Rose and Albert Gallichan Collection was widely known by the pseudonym The Albert Dawson Collection, during the couple’s lifetime).
FREDERICK WILLIAM POMEROY (1856-1924)

Perseus with the head of Medusa

Details
FREDERICK WILLIAM POMEROY (1856-1924)
Perseus with the head of Medusa
signed and dated 'F W POMEROY SC 1898', on polished black slate plinth
bronze, dark brown patina
20 in. (51 cm.) high, the bronze
23 in. (58.5 cm.) high, overall
Conceived circa 1898.
This cast circa 1900.
Provenance
Peter Rose recorded the provenance for this sculpture as:
Mrs. Southwell, Pomeroy's sister, and by descent to
her daughter, Miss Lee.
Purchased Worthing saleroom, 1975.
Literature
B. Coleman, The Best of British Arts & Crafts, Atglen, PA, 2004, p. 11, 13-15.
M. Hamnett, ‘The Albert Dawson Collection: a Handley-Read Legacy’, The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850 - the Present, 2016, vol. 40, p. 102, fig. 9.
Special Notice

Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square ( ¦ ) not collected from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Crozier Park Royal (details below). Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite.If the lot is transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale.Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only.Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com.If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

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Adrian Hume-Sayer
Adrian Hume-Sayer Director, Specialist

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Lot Essay


Frederick William Pomeroy's bronze statuette of Perseus was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1898 and was a reduction of the original life-size model in plaster. As with his contemporaries, Gilbert and Thornycroft, it was the theme of small bronzes that Pomeroy favoured, in keeping with Renaissance tradition, and between 1890 and 1900 he exhibited a total of eight at the Royal Academy, Perseus being by far the most popular and critically acclaimed.
Echoing the masterpiece by Benvenuto Cellini in general attitude and accessory, although in the interests of aesthetics omitting the corpse of Medusa at his feet, Perseus is a supreme example of the male nude, rendered in a taut and graceful pose, musculature rippling across the surface. Unlike Gilbert's version of the hero, Pomeroy's presents the hero triumphant, displaying both his trophy and his youthful beauty. Versions of the bronze are in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff and the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and interestingly they differ both to each other and to the original plaster. Small details, such as the decoration on the helmet, Medusa's hair, the sword hilt and the presence of a fig leaf vary. Another cast of this size, originally in the Handley-Read Collection, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (A.9-1972).


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